by Jeremy Gerlach
Beloved English professor, author, and longtime administrator Coleen Grissom is returning as dean of students, Trinity University President Danny Anderson announced today.
Grissom, who had previously planned to retire, was originally promoted to dean of students in 1972, eventually shifting to a full-time member of the English faculty in 2001, where she has served up to the present day.
But the prospect of retirement, Grissom says, is not all it’s cracked up to be.
“I sleep at night. I go home to the Hill Country, and I don’t have to come back for the weekends. I can have a drink and not leave the house. I have a life outside of the campus,” Grissom says. “It’s miserable.”
With Grissom staving off retirement by taking back the dean of students job, current dean David Tuttle will assume a new position, “Assistant to the Dean of Students.” Tuttle, who has graciously accepted his new position with “no hard feelings,” warned Grissom that modern life as Trinity’s dean of students presents a whole new world of challenges and limitations.
“In this job, you’ll have influence, but no power,” Tuttle said at a hastily called meeting between the two. “I don’t know who’s in charge any more, me or the students.”
“Well, how did that happen?” Grissom replied. “I left this job as an all-powerful dean.”
“Well, you were all-powerful,” Tuttle explained. “But that was before social media.”
In her administrative heydey, Grissom was perhaps best known for her pioneering policy decisions. She discontinued the unpopular practice of the University sending letters to parents rating their daughters on such qualities as popularity, frequency of dating, study habits, housekeeping, and relationship to the University. Grissom also relaxed sign-in and sign-out procedures and ended regulations that stipulated "acceptable attire" for women students on the upper campus, effectively dropping the female “dress code.”
While Grissom has yet to confirm or deny any new policy decisions, she has provided a series of proposals to University leadership, meant to recreate as much of the campus atmosphere as possible from her previous stint as a dean.
Grissom welcomes those with questions and concerns to adopt her life motto: ”Deal with it.”
“I’m back like a plague!” Grissom says excitedly.
Editor’s note: At Trinity, we teach critical thinking skills. Please check the date on this article.